Borrowed Touchstones Part 1 & 2

In part 1, Larry proposes an informal embrace of liturgical seasons and feasts, this session explores practices focused on the incarnation: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.

In part 2, Larry explores the deep meaning and beauty to be found in keeping an annual cadence centered on major themes and events in the life of Christ. In this session we explore opportunities linked to the cross, the empty grave, and the Holy Spirit through Lent, Holy Week, and Pentecost.

The Cadence of Remembering

Exodus 12:1-17

God establishes a cycle of festivals with the nation of Israel as annual touchstones to remind them of foundational moments in His relationship with them. These moments serve to establish and nurture His children's identity in Him and His love. Similarly, there are foundational moments in the New Testament and in the working out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that form and nurture our identity as Christians. As Jesus is born, lives, ministers, preaches, teaches, and ultimately gives his life within a Hebrew context, the working out of the roles of culture and Gospel as the great news is shared with other nations results in a freedom of observance and expression. Returning annually to salient points in Jesus' ministry, most notably in His incarnation and death/resurrection, establishes a cadence of remembering that works deeper into our hearts and spirits our identity as children of the King. 

The Dark Light of the Cross

Matthew 27:41-54

Into the Darkness
Everything in Mt come together to this point. The scripture anticipation, the teaching, ministry, healing, temple confrontation. It come to this moment, this event. Mt puts it before us with brevity and mystery, challenging us to look deeply. Here is the heart of God. 
Jesus has moved from celebrated prophet, king to one abandoned by all, disciples, leaders, crowds. We watch it happen: betrayal, denial, mocking. But we know who Jesus is. We’ve seen his birth, baptism, transfiguration, authority, power. He’s the very embodiment of God.

Thanks Giving and Remembrance Service

Our Remembrance and Thanksgiving service has been posted. Below are the tributes for this year along with the time code where the tribute for each person begins.

01:45 - Gloria Barreto by Tom Barreto

04:50 - Eddie Moloney by June Chang

06:14 - Dee Andrews by Erin Holland

08:12 - William “Bill” Milford Minor by Leighton Minor

18:22 - Arturo “Arthur” James by Yanela Stephenson

19:22 - Carmen “Pam” Wisdom by Melanie Rivers

20:09 - Malcom X. Bell by Diamond McDonald

21:56 - Ilene Levin Shulman by Betsy Shulman

25:13 - Allena Ann Robinson Kendall by Tom Robinson

29:53 - Joe Moriarty by Matt Henegar

33:29 - Jean Davidson by Erin Holland

36:22 - Norman Samuel by Mary Joseph

38:40 - John Boyles by Evan Eley

41:34 - Frank Peoples and Brother Joe by Carl Garrison

Key Ingredients

Matthew 12:43-45 and John 7:37-39

This sermon explores the implications of Jesus' brief parable in Matthew 12:43-45 in which a soul that is left empty after an evil spirit's departure is subject to an even worse state when the spirit returns with 7 others.  Following God is not simply about abstaining from evil, but also replacing that evil with all the good that Jesus has promised us, and with the promised Holy Spirit in particular.  The sermon includes an illustrative demonstration of jars (representing souls) being filled with dried beans of different colors to represent the forces of darkness, the world, and the Holy Spirit.